New regulations under the Animal Welfare Act will make it clear who can do what surgical procedures and how they must be done, the Primary Industries Ministry says.
The new rules ensure anyone doing surgical procedures such as dehorning, docking and velvetting are competent and have the experience and training to be able to recognise early signs of significant distress, injury or ill-health.
The policy also holds farm owners or the person in charge of stock responsible for ensuring the person working on their animals is competent.
MPI animal health and welfare director Dr Chris Rodwell said the new rules will allow competent people to continue doing routine procedures on animals and raise the standard.
“Procedures on animals must be carried out by the right people with the right skills and care to ensure the wellbeing of animals,” Rodwell said.
“People who own animals or are in charge of them should check now to see if they need to change what they do or the way they do it.
The new rules create new offences and penalties for breaches, They target minor and moderate offending with fines up to $5000 for an individual or $25,000 for a body corporate. More serious offending can be dealt with under the existing offences in the Animal Welfare Act.
The new rules will be in place on May 9 with more expected to come into force in May 2021.